That seems to be the sentiment.
First, Sigmund Bloom of DraftGuys asked me about the possibility of Monday night being Finely’s breakout game due to both to the success Vernon Davis had with EJ Henderson in coverage and the fact that the Vikings safeties will be much more attentive to Driver and Jennings than they were the 49ers wideouts.
Then this morning I read the following from Andy over at PackerGeeks:
…part of the reason I think EJ Henderson’s play will be so pivotal is that I see Jermichael Finley having a huge night, a monstrous night, if the Vike’s LBs aren’t ready for it. Finley is really talented and each week, I think Mike McCarthy seethes on the sidelines when he realizes that the weak O-Line not only hurts the running/passing games in general, but specifically interferes with McCarthy working Finley into the passing game plan more.
I could not agree more with Andy about McCarthy most likely ‘seething’, as it were. The struggles on the perimeter of the offensive line have negated Finely’s impact so far this season, as he’s been called upon with way too much frequency to stay in for protection help or at least to chip the defensive end on passing plays.
I don’t see that trend stopping Monday night. In fact, as tempting as it will be to run Finley down the middle of the Vikings Cover 2, and I don’t doubt we’ll see it at least once, too much of that will end up getting Rodgers killed against Jared Allen and company. Lest fans forget, last year in the dome the offensive line at full strength had just about the worst game a Packer offensive line has had since Ron Wolf was hired back in 1991. And on Monday night, the Packers will either have a gimpy Chad Clifton or Daryn Colledge trying to fend off Allen. Even at full health last season, Clifton was abused by Allen in the dome – it’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to playing the Vikings on the road. The ends get amazing jumps at the snap of the ball because the offensive tackles are left on an island due to the noise.
And if people thought it was loud last year…
So no, I don’t see Finley having a ‘breakout’-type game. He’ll get a shot or two, but the state of the offensive line, the venue and the opponent will all ensure that Finley is used more as a blocker than receiver.